The state Department of Environmental Conservation is giving the public another chance to voice concerns about proposed air pollution permit for the Lafarge cement plant.
A community group that has been urging DEC to impose stricter mercury emission limits in the proposed permit, which was issued last year, welcomed the hearing.
"We would like to see the DEC go as far as they can to control the toxics emitted into the air from this plant, as well as the fugitive dust that contaminates the local environment," said Elyse Griffin, co-founder of Community Advocates for Safe Emissions. "In the final air permit, the DEC should address the full range of toxins -- not just mercury -- and ensure that any cap on emissions results in a real and meaningful reduction that is protective of public health."
Last November, DEC proposed a permit that would limit mercury emissions to 176 pounds a year -- a level that still would keep the 48-year-old plant as the state’s second-largest airborne mercury polluter, based on the most recent state-wide figures.